Set against the decaying halls of a San Diego rest home in the 1970s, God Clobbers Us All is the shimmering, hysterical, and melancholy account of eighteen-year-old surfer-boy orderly Edgar Donahoe and his struggles with romance, death, friendship, and an ill-advised affair with the wife of a maladjusted war veteran. All of Edgar’s problems become mundane, however, when he and his lesbian Blackfoot nurse’s aide best friend become responsible for the disappearance of their fellow worker after an LSD party gone awry. Ballantine’s own brand of delicious quirkiness and storytelling is smooth and compelling, and God Clobbers Us All is guaranteed to satisfy Ballantine fans as well as convert those lucky enough to be discovering his work for the first time.
“Poe Ballantine is easily one of my favorite writers so to have him on the show is a huge thrill. He joins me to talk about his twenty something years as a drifter, the deterioration of culture and how obscurity may be the best route to fame....Forward
Hawthorne Books is excited to announce its partnership with ICM and Rocking Stone Media. I have before me the fabulous opportunity to work with agent Ron Bernstein and production designer turned producer, Mayne Berke, of Rocking Stone Media (also...Forward
It’s impossible not to be charmed by the narrator of Poe Ballantine’s comic and sparklingly intelligent God Clobbers Us All.
- Publishers Weekly
Ballantine’s novel is an entertaining coming-of-age story.
- The San Francisco Chronicle
A surfer dude transforms into someone captivatingly fragile, and Ballantine’s novel becomes something tender, vulnerable, even sweet without that sickly, cloying literary aftertaste. This vulnerability separates Ballantine’s work from his chosen peers. Calmer than Bukowski, less portentous than Kerouac, more hopeful than West, Poe Ballantine may not be sitting at the table of his mentors, but perhaps he deserves his own after all.
- The San Diego Union-Tribune
It’s a compelling, quirky read.
- The Oregonian
Poe Ballantine has created an extremely fast page-turner. Edgar, in first-person narrative, is instantly likeable, and his constant misadventures flow seamlessly. Partially analyzed daydreams hint at an intriguing adolescent intellect without rambling on into psychological overkill. Ballantine paints southern California with voluptuous detail. Green suns, kaleidoscopic blue eyes, yellow moons and other Lucky Charms marshmallows decorate Edgar’s acid-tinged world with an effect more tangible than psychedelic. The blank gloom of the hospital and the florid ‘70s California coast serve as the arena for this initiation into adulthood.
- Willamette Week
God Clobbers Us All succeed[s] on the strength of its characterization and Ballantine’s appreciation for the true-life denizens of the Lemon Acres rest home. The gritty daily details of occupants of a home for the dying have a stark vibrancy that cannot help but grab one’s attention, and the off-hours drug, surf, and screw obsessions of its young narrator, Edgar Donahoe, and his coworkers have a genuine sheen that captivates almost as effectively.
- The Absinthe Literary Review
A wry and ergoty experience.
- Gobshite Quarterly
That the resulting melange of a plot draws the reader’s attention from the first page and leaves one wanting more is a tribute to a storyteller with a keen sense of irony, a precise power of observation, a deep understanding of psychology, and a lyrical command of language … It’s not just an eccentric plot that keeps God Clobbers Us All afloat, though. Ballantine’s prose carries metaphorical powers that make a day of mediocre surfing into a symphony, soften even the harsh indignity of an unintended nursing home death, and illuminate the distorted reality of psychedelic hallucination.
- The Chadron Record
Ballantine pulls no punches as he writes about Edgar’s life in the 1970s. But even though his sexual and drug-related stories are graphic, they are not disturbing. He has a way with words, and this story takes on a life of its own. It’s easy to get involved in the story after page three. After page three, you’re hooked; it’s that simple.
- Book Review Cafe